KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15): The prosecution is seeking to transfer the corruption charges against Datuk Rizal Mansor in connection with the solar energy project in Sarawak to the High Court to be tried jointly with the case involving former Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who has been appointed senior deputy public prosecutor and leading the prosecuting team, told High Court Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah that the prosecution had filed the application to transfer the case last Wednesday.
He also told the court that the relevant documents under Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code had been handed over to the defence.
Lawyer Ridha Abdah Subri, representing Rizal, who is a former special officer to former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, did not object to the prosecution’s application and the court set March 14 for case management.
On Nov 15, 2018, Rizal, 45, pleaded not guilty to four counts of soliciting and accepting bribes for himself and Rosmah, amounting to RM5.5 million, involving the supply of equipment and installation of the solar hybrid system for rural schools in Sarawak.
On the first charge, he was accused of soliciting, on behalf of Rosmah, RM187.5 million, which was 15% of the contract value, from Saidi Abang Samsudin, the managing director of Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd.
The money was an inducement for Rosmah to assist the company in securing the Hybrid Photovoltaic System Integrated Project and the maintenance and operation of the gen sets/diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth RM1.25 billion through direct negotiation from the Education Ministry.
On the second charge, Rizal was accused of soliciting RM25 million for himself from Saidi to ensure that Rosmah would assist Jepak Holdings with getting the project. Both offences were allegedly committed at Lygon Cafe, G-24, Ground Floor, Sunway Putra Mall, 100, Jalan Putra, Chow Kit, here, between March and April 2016.
On the third charge, Rizal was accused of receiving RM5 million on behalf of Rosmah from Saidi as a reward for her for assisting Jepak Holdings to obtain the same project. The offence was allegedly committed at the REIT Management Sdn Bhd lobby, 168, Pavilion, Jalan Bukit Bintang, here, on Dec 20, 2016.
On the fourth count he was charged with receiving RM500,000 for himself from Saidi as a reward in ensuring that Rosmah assisted Jepak Holdings obtain the same project. He allegedly committed the offence at No 1, Laman Damai Sari, Jalan 1/61, Bukit Segambut, here, on Dec 23, 2016.
The charges were made under Section 16(a)(A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
The offences are punishable under Section 24 of the same act, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine not less than five times the amount or value of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon convicted.